MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Police have arrested a male teen, hours after dozens of shots were fired outside a cafe in South Beach, early Tuesday morning.
Seventeen-year-old Horace Butler is facing several charges, including possession of a firearm by a minor, in connection with the overnight incident that caused panic at a busy intersection on Ocean Drive.
According to Miami Beach Police, gunfire rang out outside Cafe South Beach, near the intersection of Fifth Street and Ocean Drive, just before 1 a.m.
One employee said they were nearing closing time when bullets started to fly. “Three people, they shot towards this way,” said Sarif Anlar, “and then they shoot each other, and we scared about it, and we fall down. We were so scared. We were in there, shocked. I couldn’t imagine. There’s 35 bullets.”
Surveillance video from the cafe’s storefront shows a group of people walk by. Moments later, shots were fired, and the footage shows fragments followed and one person ducking under a table.
Anlar told police at least two of the shooters then took off through a back alley. Officers surrounded the area, and investigators said, Butler ditched a gun as a black car sped away.
Officers tracked down two of the subjects after police followed the car as it crossed over the MacArthur Causeway and entered the City of Miami.
Police said no one was hit in the shooting. “We are lucky,” said Anlar. “We are lucky.”
Fifth Street was shut down between Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue, but it has since reopened.
The black car, which contained multiple firearms inside, was later recovered by police.
Officials said all three suspects were brought in for questioning. Butler was later placed under arrest.
Incidents like Tuesday morning’s shooting have been garnering national attention. Miami Beach was featured in the New York Times, earlier this month. The headline of the article read, “Miami Beach Tries To Tame Its Wild Scene Without Killing the Buzz.”
“We’ve had a murder. We’ve had a horrific sexual assault, multiple shootings,” said Mitch Novick, the owner of the Sherbrooke Hotel.
Novick was quoted in the Times article. In it, he called Ocean Drive a “carnival-like crime-ridden circus.”
On several nights, exterior surveillance cameras at the hotel captured police chases.
Miami Beach officials have added more officers to Ocean Drive, and they said crime is down.
Novick, however, said more needs to be done to prevent shootings like the one outside South Beach Cafe, before they take a toll on tourism.
Late Tuesday morning, the cafe reopened for business. Although a portion of a wall must be fixed due to gunshots, the owner of the cafe is just thankful no one was hurt. “Thank God everybody is OK,” cafe owner Saba Doksoc, “so we gotta continue with life. It’s sad that it happened, but what can we do?”
If you have any information on this shooting, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.
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